Collect, analyse, report
The Stichting HIV Monitoring (SHM, the Dutch HIV monitoring foundation) aims to collect, analyse, and report data from HIV-infected patients in the Netherlands. SHM was founded in 2001 as a result of the successful “AIDS Therapy Evaluation in the Netherlands” (ATHENA) project. Since then, anonymous data are collected by trained personnel, processed and stored in SHM’s national database to be used for scientific purposes. As its proprietor, SHM manages the database and is responsible for controlling access and data usage. SHM also grants permission to HIV research groups to use specific data for research purposes while ensuring the quality of information disseminated. HIV treating physicians also have access to data and can receive tailor-made information that can be used to progress the level of patient care at their treatment centre.
Report published on World AIDS Day
Collecting data is crucial to SHM. The key report of the foundation is the monitoring report, which is published every year on December 1st, World AIDS Day. Issues are discussed, such as changes over time in the number of infected individuals, risk groups, effectiveness of treatment, as well as development of resistance or re-import of HIV. Treating physicians at HIV treatment centres can use this information to make comparison between results at their centre and the national average.
Contributing to research worldwide
Research conducted by SHM results in tangible advice geared to medical professionals and patients, government and healthcare at large. Results of SHM's research and those of others are presented regularly at international meetings and conferences. Furthermore, SHM delivers contributions to global HIV research. SHM also monitors hepatitis B and C co-infections through the same systematic approach and collects some international HIV data, notably in Curaçao.